Flimsy Sanity: Read Any Good Books Lately?

Flimsy Sanity

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Read Any Good Books Lately?

I think this is the next book I want to read - Armed Madhouse: From Baghdad to New Orleans--Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild by Greg Palast because of this review by Robert Steele:
There is a great deal of substance in this book, but it is irritatingly cavalier, desperately trying to be "hip" and often coming across as glib. This book is not nearly as serious as "Best Democracy Money Can Buy," and that is a pity because it could have been a better book with less of the breathless banter.

Here are my notes from the flyleaf:

Usefully reviews US obsession with Iran and US special relations with Iraq under Reagan (then Secretary Rumsfeld being the bearer of bio-chemical weapons and satellite imagery--a photo of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Hussein and smiling very broadly on the web).

After investigation, finds that most of the US "global war on terror" is focused on regimes in Latin America that are anti-Bush.

Explores the idiocy of repurposing Virginia class submarines from anti-Soviet missions to being able to shoot nine Marines in a large torpedo on to a beach--notes that Israeli's use much less expensive canvas kayaks.

Notes that right before the war on Iraq Bush passed into law a drop in corporate taxes on "war profits" from 21% to 7%.

Notes that Bush's most important first public announcement to the Iraqi people as the war began was not about "welcome our troops" but rather "don't destroy the oil wells."

Points out that General Garner was fired as the first pro consul in Iraq because he ignored orders to delay elections until the oil fields could be sold off to "friends of the family."

Provides a rather extraordinary list of idiot laws and astonishing looting under new pro-consul Bremer, who was given $8.8B to spend and cannot account for $8B of it--cites specific examples of people taking $25M and coming back with no receipts or receipts for a fraction, zero accountability.

Notes that invasion (remember, Exxon met with Cheney very early on) boosted the value of Exxon oil reserves by $666B.

Devastatingly critical of IMB and World Bank for seeking to destroy third world economies (see my review of Jeffrey Sachs "The End of Poverty," where he develops a new theory of developmental economics.

Admiring of a CIA study that says that by 2020 China will be short-handed due to its one child per family policy, and discusses the possibility that Latin America and its cheap young labor will be to China then as China is to the US now.

Defends Chavez as a "Norwegianist" rather than a Marxist or socialist and notes that as the price of light oil skyrockets, it is Chavez, sitting on the world's greatest reserves of heavy oil and tar oil, who benefits.

Examines Ohio where Bush stole the 2004 election (with a little help from matched thievery in New Mexico). 153,237 votes in Ohio were literally discarded and not counted, more than Bush's margin of victory there. In Ohio, 14.4% of black votes were not counted, only 1.5% of white votes.

Provides a superb discussion of Republican "caging lists" which could be used to challenge predominantly black voters and move their votes into an alternative voting system. Notes that of the 3,107,400 "provisional" votes that the Republicans were able to force, 1,090,739 were discarded--not counted. Also notes that the Republicans sent expensive lawyers everywhere to focus on this, and the Democrats, with $51M in the bank, chose not to confront the Republicans.

This book makes it clear the Republicans have mastered the art and science of stealing elections by manipulating the assignment of old machines to anti-Bush districts, and new machines, where Hispanics will almost always be able to understand, to pro-Bush districts. He also discussed how the number of machines per capita is manipulated to make it easy to vote in pro-Bush areas, and cause seven hour lines in anti-Bush areas.

He goes further and has actual copies of tallys in which Kerry's name was simply not included. This is out and out criminality, and I have to ask myself, has this country gone nuts to allow these documented crimes to go unpunished as an encouragement to others in 2006 and 2008?

Bill Richardson in New Mexico is "outed" as a Kissinger associate who made nice with energy and oil while serving as Clinton's Secretary of Energy, and the author believes that this explains why Richardson's state sold out to Bush and failed to count many many Navajo votes and many Hispanic votes. The author's account calls Richardson's integrity--or his intelligence--into question.

The author concludes that the election system is now the front for a class war rather than a race war, with the 8% that are wealthy manipulating the system so that everyone else loses.

The author ends by pointing out that 59 million Americans (he calls them pinheads) voted for Bush because they felt comfortable with a fellow pinhead, and he pointedly notes that the Democratic party is dead in the water and completely incapable of rising to the challenge posed by smart, wealthy, motivated unethical extremist Republicans (as a moderate Republican who has lost his party to thieves, it pains me to have these many pejorative worlds associated with the Grand Old Party).

This is a thought-provoking book, a fast read, it could have been better had it had less of a gossip and tabloid nature.


  • At 2:41 AM, Anonymous michael greenwell said…

    i do like greg palast

    here is a great documentary he did..


    p.s. you'e been tagged...


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